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Bighorn National Forest

Located in north-central Wyoming, the Big Horn Mountains are a sister range of the Rocky Mountains.

Conveniently located half-way between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, the Big Horns are a great vacation destination in themselves. No region in Wyoming is provided with a more diverse landscape -- from lush grasslands to alpine meadows, from crystal-clear lakes to glacial carved valleys, from rolling hills to sheer mountain walls.

Visit the Bighorn National Forest and enjoy the multiple reservoirs, 32 campgrounds, 3 scenic byways, 14 picnic areas, 7 lodges, miles and miles of streams, 189,000 acres of Wilderness, 1,500 miles of trails, and much more that provide a forest experience unique to the Big Horns.

Many non-motorized trails are open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrian users. Off-highway vehicle users will find many opportunities for off-road enjoyment in the Bighorn National Forest.

Find out where to cast your line for stream and lake fishing from the shore or a boat. Information on seasons, licenses, and restrictions is available from the State department of fish and game. Most of the forest is open to hunting. Information on seasons, licenses, and restrictions is available from the State department of fish and game.

From snowshoeing and skiing to snowmobiling, find out about these and other winter activities.

There are two visitor centers on the forest—with maps and books, interpretive displays, and helpful information specialists.

Open landscapes make for great wildlife viewing as well. Watch for moose munching on a tasty bite of willow streamside or a family of mule deer bounding away, then stopping to look back with large ears raised and listening.

Gorgeous canyons are a hallmark of the Forest. These canyons were formed by thrust faults on both the east and west flanks and millions of years of erosion. Shell, Tensleep and Crazy Woman Canyons are among those that can be enjoyed from your car window. Others, like Tongue and Devil's Canyon are better viewed on foot.

One of our many treasures is an abundance of large mountain meadows These natural openings, caused by soil type and moisture levels, favor grasses and wildflowers rather than trees. Interspersed with mountain meadows are large patches of cool evergreen forests extending from just above the foothills to the timber line.

History buffs come to this region to explore the land that once felt the footsteps of legendary giants like Jim Bridger, Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, Plenty Coups and Buffalo Bill. This area was highly valued by tribes like the Crow, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe. Some of the most famous battles between the Native American Indians and the US military were waged at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains or in close proximity.

Wyoming Forests

First-timer’s Adventure

Take a spectacular drive
Whether you are planning to travel west to Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks, or east to Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, and the Badlands of South Dakota, Wyoming State Highway 14, also known as the Bighorn Scenic Byway, is a great way to go.

Statistics

State(s):

Wyoming

Nearest Large Urban Area:

Sheridan

Notes & Conditions:

Before heading out, be sure to check on snow conditions, road closures and recreatino updates on teh forest's conditions page.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.